Four new GO train stations have been proposed for Toronto, the province announced today.
Two of those stations would also be used by Toronto's SmartTrack rail line. An additional four stops on SmartTrack were also revealed on Tuesday.
The new stops represent a significant addition to the GO Transit network — and an even more significant push forward for SmartTrack, the proposed subway-like rail transit plan that will run on GO train tracks.
The four GO stops would be at Bloor Street West and Lansdowne Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Front Street West, in Liberty Village, and at St. Clair West and Keele Street — all along the Barrie and Kitchener GO Transit lines. All are planned to be opened within a 10-year time horizon.
The SmartTrack would share stops in Liberty Village and St. Clair and Keele, as well as four east-end stations:
- the Don Yard/Unilever area, between Cherry Street and Eastern Avenue
- Gerrard Street East near Carlaw Avenue
- Lawrence Avenue East between Kennedy Road and Midland Avenue
- Finch Avenue between Kennedy and Midland.
Ontario's Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca made the announcement from Toronto's Liberty Village neighbourhood with Mayor John Tory.
Del Duca said the stops would be a part of the $13.5 billion earmarked for GO regional transit in 2014.
"We are going to build four new stations which will give the residents of Liberty Village, Davenport, the Stockyards and City Place-Fort York another way to get to and from work, to get to and from school, and to move across the city," said Del Duca.
Liberty Village and Stockyards stations part of SmartTrack
Two stops, at Liberty Village and at St. Clair and Keele, will also be part of Toronto's SmartTrack plan. Tory ran his mayoral election on the creation of SmartTrack, a plan that would use existing rail paths to connect transit hubs. He originally proposed 13 stops, but later scaled that back to six.
Tory, the architect of the SmartTrack, calling it "a bright new day for Toronto commuters."
Liberty Village has been particularly isolated in terms of transit: a private bus company attempted to launch there last year.
"We're not out just talking about public transit, we are inaugurating new services," Tory said.
"Twenty-five years from now, I don't think anybody will be debating SmartTrack. I don't think they'll be debating any of the transit extensions we are making today."
The four new GO stations will be brought forward for approval to the Metrolinx board at the next meeting on June 28. Approval also depends on Toronto city council approving the city's financial contribution to the stops.
Del Duca and Tory last joined forces to announce details of the extension to the Bloor-Danforth subway line in Scarborough.